On Friday, July 16th, I turn 41 years of age.
I have had a very, very interesting life thus-far.
In no certain order...
I have resided in Spain, Australia, Iceland, Turkey, Norway, Thailand, and the USA...and across that
stretch, I have lived in over 50 cities...although I never considered any
of them "home" until I moved to Austin, TX in 2007.
I estimate that I have moved a grand total of almost 10,000 miles around this planet...all in the pursuit of love. And how ironic it is, that the very thing that has fueled my photography (as well as my music) has eluded me, thus far..but I hold fast to the belief that the only
failure is to never have tried.
During my stint in the military, I survived three
(no sh*t) airplane crashes (correction...2 "proper"
crashes, and 1 runway "mishap", which surprisingly
was the only one of the three aforementioned incidents that resulted in fatalities. 3 lives were lost, in that one), I've been shot with an AK-47 assault rifle, and received shrapnel in my back in another incident. After the military, I have survived being stabbed, and I walked away from an automobile crash in which pieces of the radiator
had to be removed from my face
(to give you an idea of how bad it was).
I should not
be here, now. People have told me that I am the Energizer Bunny, reincarnate.
For the majority of my life, I was a terribly
shy, socially awkward individual, until I discovered photography at the relatively-late age of 35...and the person I used
to be (up until then) was replaced by an entirely
new one. You'd never
guess that my new self and my old self once shared the same body...but that is the only similarity.
It has been fascinating to witness my own undeniable metamorphosis.
to believe that I would one day realize the Celestial Purpose of my existence on this Earth...but it is frustrating to admit that I am no closer to answering this question. I've come to the realization that perhaps the answer is not mine
Years ago, if you had asked me "where do you see yourself at 40?", I would not have even come close
to an accurate prediction. I thought by the time I turned 40, all of the unanswered questions in my life would sort themselves out. I figured I'd be earning a pretty good income. I imagined that I would own a house, and a decent vehicle. I thought my career path would be evident.
But wishful thoughts never stopped the thunder that drove my head back to the ground.
None of the aforementioned things have actually happened
, but in their absence, I have realized their unimportance to me. I put value into other
of these are more valuable than money to me. It has taught me the kind of person I am, and I find much solace in that.
If I have only learned one thing, it is this: disappointment happens when expectations are not met
. And so, I have taught myself to have no expectations. I have dreams, desires, hopes, ambitions, wishes, longings, yearnings...but one should never
confuse any of these things with "expectations".
To have expectations is not at all dissimilar from proclaiming I have the ability to see the future...which I do not. The only
thing you can
expect is that one day, you will
in fact die. Unless they invent a cream for that...hey, anything could happen.
I can honestly say that while I am the poorest
I have ever been in my adult life, I am the happiest
I have ever been. Year after year of chasing what I thought
was what I wanted in my life...but what I really
wanted was something that I didn't even know existed, until it found me
Basically, all of this is my very
long way of saying "thank you" to everyone here on DA for your support. My unexpected popularity here has been instrumental
in developing a name for myself in photography. And outside the bounds of DA, my work has reached untold thousands of people.
I have dreamt of being a photographer for most of my life...and hey, it looks like I have become exactly
that. Dream-come-true, achieved.
If I can just get the "finding true love"
bit to happen, I'll be a happy man.
So, in the Book of My Life, I now begin Chapter 41.
And here we go...